Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is to step down as chief executive of the e-commerce giant that he started in his garage nearly 30 years ago.
According to the company, change will take place in the second half of 2021 after which He will become executive chairman to give him “time and energy” to focus on his other ventures.
Mr Bezos, the world’s richest man, will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing business.
Mr Bezos, aged 57, has led Amazon since its start as an online bookshop in 1994. The firm now employs 1.3 million people globally and has its hand in everything from package delivery and streaming video to cloud services and advertising.
He’s amassed a fortune of $196.2bn, according to Forbes’ list of billionaires. It saw its already explosive growth skyrocket last year, as the pandemic prompted a surge in online shopping.
The firm reported $386bn (£283bn) in sales in 2020, up 38% from 2019. Profits almost doubled, rising to $21.3bn.
Amazon also faces increasing scrutiny from regulators, who have questioned its monopoly power. And its dominance in cloud computing is being increasingly challenged by other tech firms, such as Microsoft and Alphabet, parent company of Google and YouTube.